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Sahaja sets up a meeting with Riya

Sahaja Yamalapalli stroked with intensity to beat Ayumi Koshishi of Japan in the ITF women’s tennis tournament in Gurugram on Wednesday.
| Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

Fifth seed Sahaja Yamalapalli warmed up for the challenges ahead with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Ayumi Koshishi of Japan in the first round of the Federal Bank $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Wednesday.

Sahaja, who stroked with intensity, converted four of eight break points to snuff the Japanese challenge. She did drop serve once but overall handled her service games with competence.

In the pre-quarterfinals, Sahaja will play Riya Bhatia who has been without match practice for some time. Riya overcame the fluent play of qualifier Anjali Rathi 7-6(5), 6-4. She also did well to make the doubles quarterfinals with Michika Ozeki of Japan.

Qualifier Vaishnavi Adkar unleashed her forceful strokes on both flanks to beat Akiko Omae of Japan in three sets. Vaishnavi will next face the top seed, the 218th ranked Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia.

Shirvalli Bhamidipaty had little trouble in getting past the Japanese qualifier Ikumi Yamazaki. She will take on seventh seed Jacqueline Cabaj Awad of Sweden in the second round.

The results: Singles (first round): Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt clara Vlasselaer (Bel) 7-5, 6-4; Vaishnavi Adkar bt Akiko Omae (Jpn) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1; Riya Bhatia bt Anjali Rathi 7-6(5), 6-4; Sahaja Yamalapalli bt Ayumi Koshishi (Jpn) 6-4, 6-2; Yasmine Mansouri (Fra) bt Ranah Akua Stoiber (GBr) 6-1, 7-6(4); Ekaterina Kazionova bt Ekaterina Yashina 7-5, 6-2; Anastasia Gasanova bt Abhilasha Bista (Nep) 6-3, 6-0; Fanny Ostlund (Swe) bt Michika Ozeki (Jpn) 6-2, 6-4; Yeonwoo Ku (Kor) bt Madhurima Sawant 6-0, 6-2; Zhibek Kulambayeva (Kaz) bt Humera Baharmus 6-1, 6-2; Rinon Okuwaki (Jpn) bt Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) 7-5, 6-4; Shrivalli Bhamidipaty bt Ikumi Yamazaki (Jpn) 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Zhibek Kulambayeva (Kaz) & Ankita Raina bt Zeel Desai & Rinon Ikuwaki (Jpn) 2-6, 6-3, [11-9]; Riya Bhatia & Michika Ozeki (Jpn) bt Akanksha Nitture & Saumya Vig 6-3, 6-1; Shrivalli Bhamidipaty & Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Kashish Bhatia & Sahira Singh 6-0, 6-1; Jacqueline Cabaj Awd (Swe) & Justina Mikulskyte (Ltu) bt Snehal Mane & Madhurima Sawant 6-2, 6-1.

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